Grade II* Thatched Pub
Defect Analysis & Repairs
This project started with a request to assess a damp problem at first floor level. The problem was primarily related to the exposed nature of the wall, poor protection to the head (parapet) and trapped moisture behind masonry paint. During my inspection I noted a cement render to the front elevation frame and expressed concern that there seemed to be an active problem. There were signs of active Death Watch Beetle and movement to the frame. The main problem was water ingress through the end gable and parapet, down between the end gable and thatch and to the frame at the front. Moisture was then trapped and the problem spread – probably with additional problems from past leaks through the thatch.
I was asked to specify works and manage the project of repairing the building. It started with render removal, but as soon as work started the frame moved. It had to be propped before further work took place. The exposure of the frame revealed major deterioration to the point that seemingly sound timbers were in fact falling apart. There was no sound section of the frame to repair back to, and a new green oak frame had to be formed (and this was done on site). Fortunately, this section of the building was only single storey in height and under a thatched roof (being relatively lightweight).
When the side of the chimney was exposed it was found that there was a hidden bread oven that is thought to have been a communal oven for the village. Also in this area was found evidence of reed backing to lime plaster.
As work was undertaken the opportunity was taken to insulate the elevation. The new frame was finished with lime render. To the end gable, a lead cap was formed over the parapet, the elevation was lime rendered and a pentice board installed to help throw some of the rainwater away from the lower areas.